Millersville University, Faculty Senate



7 May 1996

Prior Minutes
...| Chairperson | President | VP Acad Affairs | VP Student Affairs | Assoc VP Acad Affairs |
Committee Reports
...|UCPRC | GCPRC | Joint Senate | Academic Standards | University Theme | Gen. Ed. Review | Academic Outcomes Assessment | Academic Computing |
Proposed Courses
...|Curriculum Cost Analysis |Class Schedule Audit |Class Attendance/Grading


Senate approved the 16 April 1996 meeting minutes with the following corrections: on page 3987, Undergraduate Course and Program Review Committee, under HUMN 302: change "...Spring of 1977..." to "...Spring of 1997..." Additional corrections are given on Chairperson D. Eidam's 26 April 1996 memorandum to the senate (see Attachment A). There were two corrections to today's Agenda: under Section VIII, Proposed Courses and Programs, change HUMN 302 from "...Spring 1977..." to "...Spring of 1997." Under HPED350, change "...Spring 1996..." to "...Fall 1996..."


Chairperson's Report

Chairperson D. Eidam announced that he had previously (26 April 1996) circulated to senators a revised agenda and correction to the 16 April minutes (see Attachment A). Since Dean A. Hoffman is in Harrisburg, the Class Schedule Audit Task Force will defer its report from today until the 11 July 1996 senate meeting. Senate's next (Summer) meeting will be 4:05-5:45 PM, Thursday, 11 July 1996, in Roddy Science Center, room 137.

Undergraduate Course and Program Review Committee Chairperson, T. Woo, has announced that she intends to resign. Senate R. Fulmer will also resign from senate and the general education committee because he will be elsewhere next year. During the Fall election meeting (3 September 1996), senate will additionally vote on replacements for the chairperson of the UCPRC and for Fulmer. Last week Eidam sent a form listing senate committee vacancies to individual faculty members on campus. Senators can use the form to nominate and submit written documents in support of candidates for open senate positions.

Eidam will make corrections to the nominations form and send it to all faculty in late August (at least the week before the semester begins). Nominations and statements have already arrived. Either the nominator or the nominee can submit the supporting statements. The nominations and supporting statements may be hard copied or emailed to the chairperson. In the mailing that Eidam sent senators between meetings (see Attachment A), he listed some of the recommendations that are pending and one that needs to be added, an Archeology minor and option.

Eidam received annual reports from some committees but not all. If he does not receive the missing ones in a few days, he will send out a delinquency notice. Eidam also sent a blank disk asking committee chairs to please put their reports on disks, either MAC or PC, Word or WordPerfect. Senator M. Warmkessel will place the reports on senate's WWW homepage. It will be a great help to her to receive the reports on a floppy disk. She must manually type the reports otherwise.

Eidam thanked many committee chairs for doing their own food pickups. Senate saved money every two weeks for several committes. The Web Page is continuously improving with additional information being added regularly. The secretary will attach this year's committee reports to the minutes of this meeting (see Attachment B)(see Committee Reports) Senate will not bind the annual reports in a separate mailing.

Senate passed the plus/minus grade policy but without an accompanying rationale. Eidam has begun to write the rationale after listening to the last two senate meetings on tape. If senators would like to add any additional rationale, please email or drop a note to Eidam. Eidam also sent senators between meetings a proposed form for academic proposals for everything except undergraduate and graduate courses. Senator T. Woo made the most suggestions and feels the proposal form is appropriate. Eidam asked for senate's approval of the form. A W. Dorman/J. Piperberg motion to approve the new form passed. The three new forms (undergraduate course, graduate course, and academic proposal forms will be effective 1 June 1996. After that date, senate will not accept the old forms. Eidam will sned the new forms to department chairs and others who need it.

Eidam sent senators the Provost's statement on administrative approvals of senate passed academic policies (see the Provost's memo in Attachment A). Eidam said he liked the strike through format that the Provost used to make editorial changes to a few proposed senate academic policies. Eidam asked if senators would like to discuss any of the administrative changes. Senate approved the administration's editorial changes.

Administrative Officers


President J. Caputo gave an update on the budget. The governor's budget is unlikely to go through as proposed. Caputo is worried about whether we can hold on to the budget as proposed. The commonwealth has serious financial problems. The legislature has not received favorably any suggestion of raising txes. higher education may be an easy target for legislators.

Last Saturday MU held the annual honors and awards ceremony. Many senators, faculty, and parents of students were there. MU recognized the students for their academic achievements. They represent our best values and expectations of them. It was exciting to see them polished, dressed smartly, and in high spirits.

To end the semester, MU's graduation will occur this Saturday. Kevin McCarthy as Harry S. Truman will speak. On the matter of plus/minus grades, he said students are very apprehensive about senate's proposed changes. They have expressed themselves several times and in several ways. Caputo said there needs to be a lot of conversation in the Fall between the faculty and students. Caputo called the semester productive and thanked senators for all their work.

Vice-President for Academic Affairs

Provost F. McNairy thanked senators for their patience as MU reviews the new course and program approval policy (Attachment C). Meet and Discuss approved a new parallel process that will expedite the timelines in approving senate recommendations. The parallel process affects the graduate and undergraduate level.

McNairy assured senate that MU will take no action at either level until the appropriate school curriculum committee recommends it. Any information that a dean gives a course or program proposer is only information. The proposer needs to know the resource implications of a proposal. Discussing the resource needs at an early stage of the course and program development will expedite the whole course approval process.

MU expects the departments to address certain issues with the deans at the beginning of the process of proposing a new course, changing credit on an existing course, or a new program. We are focusing primarily on courses because the approval process is much more extensive when a professor develops a new degree program whether it is a minor, major, certification program, etc. The faculty needs to know about the kinds of issues that the Provost thinks the department and the deans should be discussing at the beginning of the process. By the time a proposal reaches the senate, the administration will know that everyone will have addressed the curricular issues at each level.

This does mean more work for the faculty. It is necessary work to avoid wasting dollars. MU expects that a conversation among the dean, department chair, and proposer will take place that addresses the appropriate questions. The dean can report about the conversation to the associate provost. MU will be sure the departmnt has thought through the resource implications.

Vice-President for Student Affairs

Vice-President for Student Affairs G. Reighard discussed the basketball situation. The investigators are doing their work and the investigation is proceeding. Reighard hopes that in a few months it will be completed.

MU had quite a Spring celebration with about 600 students participating in the event. That Saturday night President J. Caputo made waffles for students until 3:30 AM. The allocations process is complete. The students allocated $900,000 in funds like mature adults. The students were rather hard on each other this Spring. Unfortunately, MU had an altercation on Saturday following a dance on campus. There will be about 8 to 10 arrests made before the incident is over. Some athletes were involved.

MU is close to replacing Reighard with a new vice-president for student affairs. Tomorrow and Thursday a final candidate for Reighard's position is being invited back to campus. If everything works out the new person could start as soon as the middle of the summer.

Parliamentarian C. Scharnberger said the banner across George street warning car drivers to watch for pedestrians was helping. He asked about painting the crosswalks at dangerous intersections. Reighard said that each summer the Borough permits MU to paint the crosswalks.

Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs

Associate Vice-President for Academic Affairs J. Stager discussed the number of waiver requests that he has received in the last two weeks from graduating students. He said there were more this semester than he had ever seen before. He thought the reason was MU is making more use of the DARS system. DARS is picking up problems that slipped by in the past. Stager reminded senators of the following:

1. Zero level courses do not count toward the 120 hour requirement.
2. Math 101, College Algebra, does not count as a General Education course.
3. Biology 100 received as a Transfer could or could not have laboratory credit.
4. Certain majors cannot meet the CQ requirement.
5. Advanced Writing is not the same as a writing course. They are not interchangeable.
6. Students must take two courses in one department in the three blocks.
7. Scuba and certain other HPED courses not General Education approved.
8. Once a student passes Calculus 1, he/she cannot take a course that is a prerequisite for it.

MU plans to make DARS the official graduation vehicle as of the start of the Fall semester. Students who plan to graduate will register for a course called 999, Graduation. That course will become the student's application for graduation. The application will generate a DARS audit immediately after registration. if the audit does not clear the student, MU will send her a letter saying that she has a problem. She will need to see her advisor to get the problem corrected before the beginning of their last semester. After the semester begins, MU will repeat the audit and identify those students that have a problem. MU wants to avoid last minute requests for waivers. It is working on the new procedures now.

Departments can generate DARS reports. Some information will be on the MU WEB page. MU cannot afford to print all the DARS reports. In the future it will send faculty advisors full information only on those students who have problems. Also in the future MU will shorten the DARS reports that it sends to advisors for students proceeding normally.

Stager said that DARS only completely cleared 50 percent of students for graduation this semester. Most problems involved waivers of departmental requirements in which the department never notified central administration. MU needs to develop a process by which every waiver granted at the departmental level must be sent to the proper people and entered into the audit system.

MU recently passed an academic dishonesty policy. The next step is to put together a brochure. Although MU has not done it yet, there will be a brochure for faculty and another for students hopefully at the start of the Fall semester.

Committee Reports

Undergraduate Course and Program Review Committee

Undergraduate Course and Program Review Committee chairperson T. Woo introduced one course under the two meeting rule:

Woo asked that the secretary put the following minor proposal on the senate agenda for the next (11 July 1996) meeting:

Graduate Course and Program Review Committee

Graduate Course and Program Review Committee chairperson, F. Erickson, introduced a new program proposal:

Erickson asked that the secretary place it on the agenda for the 11 July 1996 senate meeting.

Joint Senate Conference Committee

Joint Senate Conference Committee Chairperson J. Piperberg said his committee met 1 May 1996 for the last time this semester. Piperberg submitted the committee's annual report (see Attachment C ).

Piperberg attached to the report a list of recommendations for student membership on various senate committees for senate's approval. The recommendations resulted from the committee's study of the matter over the past year; committee chairs agree with the recommendations. If there are any additions or changes, please advise Piperberg. He will submit the recommended number of students and alternates for each committee to student senate also. Chairperson D. Eidam noted that if the recommended changes in the number of students on the various senate committees differed from the Governance Manual senate would need to approve. Of course, senate will take no action on recommendations for nonsenate committees. A J. Piperberg motion for senate to approve the recommended changes in the number of students on senate committees (only) passed.

The committee discussed a proposed four years to graduate contract with students. The committee, with new student senators, will meet fortnightly in the Fall in order to submit a report by 1 December 1996.

Academic Standards Committee

Academic Standards Committee chairperson J. Piperberg said the committee will meet June 4 and 5, 1996. He will have a report of those meetings for the 11 July 1996 senate meeting. Piperberg will make that report an addendum to this year's annual report.

University Theme Committee

University Theme Committee Chairperson J. Piperberg said the committee has selected a theme for 1999-2000. A student poposed the theme originally without a faculty "shepherd." Now MU faculty have agreed to shepherd the theme. The faculty members who submitted the other themes will help this theme. The theme title is "Achievements Throughout the Twentieth Century." Since the student will graduate before the year of the theme, she will not be at MU. Piperberg thanked the student, Sondra Groves, for submitting the theme. He hoped that she could come back to see some of her events. P. Specht, Industry and Technology, and Robert Coley, Ganser Library, will co-chair the theme. A J. Piperberg motion that senate approve the proposed theme passed.

General Education Review Committee

General Education Review Committee Chairperson R. Wismer said the committee completed its final report on the general education curriculum. One copy was submitted to the senate chairperson. Another was submitted to Provost F. McNairy. He can make a copy on floppy disk available to senators if they submit a blank floppy disk to him. The committee has not agenda for the summer. Wismer requested that the committee's meeting time be listed (the same time as the UCPRC meetings).

Academic Outcome Assessment Committee

Academic Outcome Assessment Committee chairperson, R. Mainzer, said the committee met several weeks ago. Mainzer asked that his committee's meeting time be listed also. The committee meets the third Wednesdays of each month, 4 to 5 PM. The committee is reinstituting a newsletter that was done as of last year. The committee will talk to knowledgeable people about how to do it electronically to save on paper. It is planning a follow-up to a workshop that was held in 1995. In addition, it is planning a workshop in the Spring about continuous improvement.

Academic Computing Advisory Committee

The senate's representative to the Academic Computing Advisory Committee, R. Clark, presented the committee's annual report (see Attachment C). The committee had five meetings over the year.

Proposed Courses

Senate approved two undergraduate courses:

Chairperson D. Eidam said that the following course has been slightly amended with respect to the rationale. He has the amended copy in case anyone is interested. Senators have one more meeting to challenge the following course before sente approves it:

Senator C. McLeod said that assume senate passes the following Communications and Theatre Department changes. Then for informational purposes, he wanted the following reference in today's minutes. Attachment D (page 4001 of the 16 April 1996 minutes) indicates that under current requirement, "General Communication" is an option. In fact there is no such option. "General Communication" in Attachment D refers to the communication major. Senate passed the following agenda item:


Report of the Curriculum Cost Analysis Task Force

Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs, J. Stager, Task Force chairperson, presented a summary of the 27 page report. It is too long to attach to the minutes. C. Deen, R. Wismer, and D. Eidam, task force members, attended today's meeting.

Stager said he had made today's presentation several times before at PAC, Dean's Council, etc. On Thursday he will make another presentation at the APSCUF representative council meeting. The task force was charged with determining the cost of the General Education program. After the task force met for a few months, it only tried to answer the simpler question, "Why has the student faculty ratio at MU decreased?" Did the General Education program alone cause the decline in the faculty student ratio or were there other factors? What was the net cost of the decline?

The student faculty ratio decreased from 19.16 in 1988-89 to 17.71 in 1994-95. The last full year that the task force had data was 1994-95. The seven year period encompassed the introduction of the new General Education program. Another task force goal included providing accurate data about faculty productivity and average class size. The task force wanted to provide detailed information about departmental ratios and productivity.

The task force was not charged with making recommendations. It only made observations to answer its charge. Another task force will come to the senate in the future and make recommendations. A chart on page 2 of the report shows where MU stands with respect to the student faculty ratio compared to the SSHE average. Prior to 1986-87 MU had a higher student faculty ratio than the SSHE. Since that time, MU has had a lower ratio. While the two averages have gone down since 1986-87, MU's averages have dropped even faster than the SSHE's did.

A chart on page 3 of the report shows a comparison of the student faculty ratio with average class size. While a full time student takes 30 credits a year, a full time faculty member teaches 24 hours per year. Since the ratio of 24 to 30 is 0.8, the student faculty ratio is 0.8 of the average class size. to calculate the full time equivalent students, divide the total student credit generation by 30. The calculation yields about 6000 full time equivalent students out of 7500 heads. To determine the number of full time equivalent faculty, divide the entire faculty instructional load by 24. The resulting number is about 370, a number larger than the number of regular full time faculty. Finally, to calculate the student faculty ratio, divide the 6000 fte's by the full time equivalent faculty.

Stager defined the term instructional faculty. he explained who was included and excluded. D. Eidam is only a 0.75 faculty member since he has reduced time as senate chairperson. Stager said it was a myth that reducing MU's released time would help the student faculty ratios. Released times have never counted in calculating the student faculty ratios. They cost money but are not a factor in the decline of the student faculty ratio.

The FTE faculty cost used was $52,000, approximately equivalent to the salary and benefits of a new regular faculty member (Assistant Professor, Step C). Chairperson D. Eidam said the task force is assuming that a faculty member costs $52,000 a year. All the faculty member does for $52,000 is teach 12 hours. The task force only defines productivity as generating credits. If the task force insists on defining productivity that way, then administrative productivity is zerio because they do not generate any credits. Stager noted that on page 2 of the report, there is the sentence, "It must be noted, and emphasized, that faculty productivity is measured in more ways than simply direct instructional hours in the classroom!"

The task force concluded that the drop in the student faculty ratio occurred primarily because of the new General Eudcation program. The feature of the General Education program that has been the main cause is the devaluation of MU's 100 level courses. The 100 level courses are larger than the 200 level courses. The smaller 200 level courses have replaced the larger 100 level courses. That is a main effect of the new curriculum. MU had a goal in increasing the number of 200 level courses in the new curriculum. It was to stop the number of students who could graduate from MU taking 90 per cent of their courses at the 100 level.

MU decreased the number of required hours in each of the three divisions from 15 (five courses) to 12 (four courses). In the old General Education curriculum, students would take relatively large classes at the 100 level. Retired professor P. Nichols taught Earth Science 101 in McComsey Auditorium to 170 or more students. Now students will probably take two laboratories since they have to take two sciences. We have twice as many lab courses as we previously did. the lab courses are in physics, chemistry, earth science, and not just in Biology as before. Students take Math 100, now a small class; previously it was a large class. They are no longer taking Earth Science 101-103. The student faculty ratio in Earth Sciences has dropped from 39 to 1 to 24 to 1.

Music 100 no longer has several hundred students. It has been replaced by small classes. The smaller writing classes are also having an effect. The advanced writing courses that have been added have 30 students per class but there are a lot more of them than there were eight years ago. Students are taking more writing desginated courses than we expected. Students complain that they cannot get writing designated courses. There are many writing designated courses that only have 15 students. Only a few have more than 30. If there are, the faculty themselves allowed the students to attend. The administration does not put more than 30 students in a writing course.

Report of the Class Schedule Audit Task Force (Dr. A. Hoffman, chair)--Returned to the Agenda.

Proposal for Changes in MU's Class Attendance/Grading Policy--Returned to the Agenda.

The Academic Policies Committee is recommending changes in MU's class attendance/grading policy (see Attachment A, pp. 3991-3993, of the 16 April 1996 senate minutes).

Senate adjourned at 5:45 PM. The next meeting will be Thursday, 11 July 1996, from 4:05-5:45 p.m. in Roddy Science Center, room 137

Respectfully submitted,

Marvin Margolis, Secretary
Faculty Senate

Prior Minutes
...| Chairperson | President | VP Acad Affairs | VP Student Affairs | Assoc VP Acad Affairs |
Committee Reports
...|UCPRC | GCPRC | Joint Senate | Academic Standards | University Theme | Gen. Ed. Review | Academic Outcomes Assessment | Academic Computing |
Proposed Courses
...|Curriculum Cost Analysis |Class Schedule Audit |Class Attendance/Grading